ISIS | Wilson Center


The New Normal in the Middle East

The war against ISIS as a proto-state controlling and governing territory is showing signs of progress, although the appeal of the Islamic State ideology and its capacity to inspire acts of terror appear undiminished.

US Officials: Latest on Fight Against ISIS

On July 21, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk described progress in the fight by the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. Kerry said that driving ISIS from its territory in Iraq and Syria “will mark a critical turning point” in the campaign, but acknowledged that ISIS will continue to pose a threat through its global network. The following are excerpts of their remarks.

Airstrike Trends: June 2016

In June, U.S. and coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State – also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh – declined slightly in Iraq compared to the previous month. But airstrikes in Syria doubled, jumping from 177 in May to 358 in June.

How to Keep the Bangladesh Powder Keg from Exploding

On the evening of July 1, seven young men, heavily armed with guns, bombs and machetes, stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Gulshan, an affluent neighborhood in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They held several dozen people hostage, many of them foreigners, and sought to separate out, and spare, the Muslims among them. Unlucky hostages were hacked to death.

Why ISIS Would Be Motivated To Strike Inside Turkey

Dozens of people were killed during an attack on Istanbul's main airport on Tuesday. Director of the Wilson Center's Middle East Program Henri Barkey discusses the Istanbul attacks with Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition

"ISIS is trying to use the tension that exists between the United States and the Turkish government about the use of Syrian Kurds in fighting ISIS." 

Who is Behind Istanbul Attack?

Tuesday's bombing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport could not have come at a worse time for Turkey.

The attack, which early reports suggest has left at least 36 dead and dozens more injured, comes as the Turkish economy was already reeling after tourism plunged following attacks in Ankara and Istanbul.

CRS Report: Assessing US Policy on ISIS

ISIS presents complicated short and long-term challenges for U.S. policymakers, with no real end in sight. “The complex crises that have fueled the Islamic State’s rise and facilitated its spread show little sign of abating,” according to a new report by Christopher Blanchard and Carla Humud at the Congressional Research Service. The report provides an assessment of ISIS's current strength and a review of U.S. objectives, strategy, and policy options. The following are excerpts from the report.

Poll: Jordanians Support Fight Against ISIS

Around 64 percent of Jordanians support international intervention against ISIS “to a large degree,” up from 54 percent in 2015, according to a new poll by the International Republican Institute. Nearly half of respondents said they support Jordan’s involvement in the intervention “to a large degree.” Jordan is part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been bombing ISIS targets since 2014.

How is the Air War Against ISIS Going?

Operation Inherent Resolve has quietly but dramatically escalated its operations in Iraq in 2016. Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition are up by 65 percent over the same period last year, according to data tallied from Central Command’s daily rundowns.

Obama, Candidates on Orlando and ISIS

On June 13, a day after the attack on a popular Orlando nightclub, President Barack Obama and the presumptive presidential candidates spoke out on the dangers of ISIS. The attacker, identified as Omar Mateen, reportedly called police during the attack and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton also outlined their strategies to counter ISIS if elected. The following are excerpted remarks by Obama, Clinton, and Trump.